Universities and Science Minister launches research collaboration

The Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has officially launched a new phase in an innovative partnership between the North of England’s eight research intensive universities.

The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration between the Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York, which focuses on combining the capabilities of these eight research intensive universities.

As part of the N8, centres have already been established which focus on areas of future growth in the economy, such as regenerative medicine and molecular engineering, each working to create collaborations and new innovations between industry and academia.

The launch marks a new phase in the partnership, with £1 million being invested in a three-year programme of activities to support collaborative working. Over the next three years, the partnership will lead to increased commercialisation and job creation in the North through the N8’s regenerative medicine and molecular engineering centres, increase world-class research through collaborations on capital assets and is developing plans to form N8+: a cluster of global R&D businesses and SMEs in the North, encouraging innovation in industrial and research activity.

As part of a new social sciences programme, researchers from N8 will also work together with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Local Authorities in the North to help them to generate economic growth and respond to changes in populations in the key cities, based on the findings of an N8 research report into Northern demographics.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “The N8 partnership is an excellent example of how universities are collaborating together to work more effectively with large R&D companies, local businesses and the public sector to stimulate growth. Through their research partnerships they are helping to bring new ideas and innovations to market, and creating new businesses and new jobs.

“By pooling some of their funding from Government, the N8 research intensive universities in the North of England – part of our world class research base – are maximising the impact and commercialisation potential of their research.”

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